Best SaaS tools for Startups Revisted

Fantastic post here from Ariel Diaz @ Blissfully.  I did similar post here a few years ago.  Figured I’d do a quick update on the tools that I like/use at the moment – amazing how quickly the landscape changes.

My updated recommendations:

  • Basic Productivity : Google Apps
  • Accounting : Quickbooks Online
  • Benefits/Payroll/HR  : Namely (previous suggestion was Gusto – changed for a number of reasons – but Namely is the best imho – and can do all benefits/payroll/HR in one system)
  • Expenses : Expensify
  • Recruiting : Lever
  • Equity Management/409A: eShares – I’ve blogged about this before here and Fred Wilson also posted about eShares here
  • AR/AP Automation : Bill.com (thanks to Dan Meyer for reminder)
  • CRM : SFDC (I’m tempted by Hubspot CRM and  might change)
  • Source code management : Github
  • Issue management : Jira
  • Product management : Aha.io
  • Design : Sketch + InVision
  • Hosting : GCP – I know a bunch of people will
  • Identity/IAM : JumpCloud or Okta – tradeoffs abound – think of JumpCloud as basic LDAP service vs. Okta as broader IAM solution.

Every small company has it’s own needs but it’s amazing how easy and quickly you can have the basics set up for very reasonable cost.  My biggest request to the SaaS vendors is always the same – PLEASE instrument Google OAuth to simplify login (thank you Expensify and Lever).

It’s also amazing how many big companies – if they moved to systems like the above could RADICALLY reduce their IT costs/spend and increase their scale.

I’m  encouraging folks on my team (biz folks anyway) to buy and use Chromebooks – I have been using a Pixel for 4+ years and it’s great (saw Jeff Dean running a Pixel at a meeting once – good enough for Jeff – good enough for me 🙂  Dual boot Linux instructions here.

@Tamr we have a BYO device policy (+2 year refresh) that works well – but increasingly I’m seeing that biz people @ startups are starting to give up their beloved Macs because if you use all of the above tools – really just need a browser.  ChromeOS is so much easier to maintain (my friend Christopher Ahlberg is giving me the eyeroll) and ChromeOS is  so much more secure OOTB.

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